Nutmeg Usage And Production Around The World
Plants and trees grow wonderfully when they are exposed to maximum sunlight. But there are plants that grow in semi-shades and partial sunlight.
It is interesting to note that there are plants that grow without sunlight. Some of these unique plants are Parlor palms, umbrella papyrus, snake plants, philodendron and peacock plant.
These plants grow in dark places and needs very minimal sunlight. This topic will deal with a seed named Nutmeg which is extracted from tree. The botanical name of this plant is Myristica fragrans.
There are two types of famous in Indonesia, one is nutmeg and other one is mace. Indonesians call it as pala.
The seed is derived from the evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia.
- The egg-shaped seed measures 30 mm long and 18 mm wide and weight between 10 gm.
- The harvesting of the seeds starts after 9 years after planting and the tree reaches full production after twenty years.
- The seeds are used in powdered form.
- The other commercial products that are extracted from this plant are essential oils, oleoresins and nutmeg butter.
- This plant is also found in Malabar region of Kerala, India.
- It was traded in India during 17th century.
- This tree is dioecious plants which are propagated sexually and asexually.
It’s Usage Around the world
- The Indonesians use it in soups like soto, konro, oxtial soup, sup iga, bakso and sup kambing.
- The grounded seeds are also used in gravy for meat dishes like beef stew, beef steak, minced meat roll and beef tongue steak.
- The sliced nutmeg fruit flesh is made as sweets and seasoned in sugary syrups.
- The Indonesians also use it rind in many food items.
- Nutmeg juice is very famous in Indonesia.
- Indians smoke the grounded nutmeg.
- Kerala people of India, especially Malabar people consider this as medicinal seed.
- They crush the flesh of the fruit and use it in juice, pickles and chutney.
- The grated ones are used in meat items and desserts as flavor.
- Indians also use it in the famous Mughlai cuisines.
- Indians also administer the grounded seeds as medicine to infants.
- It is used as a spice for savory dishes in Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Europeans use it in potato dishes and in processed meat items.
- They also add it as an ingredient in soups, sauces and baked items.
- It is used in rice pudding.
- It is added along with brussels sprouts cauliflower and string beans in Dutch cuisine.
- It is an ingredient in liquors such as mulled cider, mulled wine and eggnog.
- It is used as a stuffing in meat-filled dumplings like tortelli and traditional meatloaf.
- Japanese use it in various curry powders.
- Caribbeans sprinkle the powder in drinks such as Bushwacker, Painkiller and Barbados rum punch.
- Indonesians prepare delicious jams using nutmeg fruits and they also prepare sweet candy with the help of nutmeg.
Nutmeg Oil And Its uses
- The essential oil extracted from the seeds is used in perfumery and pharmaceutical industries.
- The oil contains d-camphene, d-pinene, limonene, d-borneol, l-terpineol, geraniol, safrol, and myristicin.
- The oil is generally colorless or light yellow. It smells and tastes like nutmeg.
- The oil is used in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and baked items.
- It is a major ingredient in few cough syrups.
- Nutmeg oil has the ability to cure digestive disorders and nervous problems.
- The nutmeg butter which is extracted from the nut is semi-solid, reddish-brown in color.
- It tastes and smells like nutmeg.
- This butter is used as a replacement for cocoa butter.
- The oil is also used as an industrial lubricant.
- It was produced in large-scale till 19th century in the Banda Islands, Indonesia.
- World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10000 to 12000 tons per year.
- Indonesia dominates production and exports of this nutmeg.
- The other producers include India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Caribbean islands, such as St. Vincent.
- The principal importers of nutmeg are Europeans, the United States, Japan, and India.
- It should be consumed in small proportions since it has certain dangerous chemicals.
- It has a very big history and was traded wonderfully during 17th to 19th century in many parts of the world.